Getting started on your very own fishing story is easy. All you need is a rod and a reel, some bait, a few great fishing destinations and knowledge of effective fishing techniques. From lakes and rivers to streams and oceans, you can find a wide variety of fish swimming (and biting) in the waters.
Fishing at Table Rock Lake in the Ozark Mountains
Thanks to a first-class conservation management program and a plentiful food chain, the fishing is always good at Table Rock Lake in Missouri. Popular aquatic residents include large mouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. If you consider yourself an angler, here’s an exceptional fishing experience.
Lake Michigan Fishing
Lake Michigan is home to one of the most popular fish—the toothy, torpedo-shaped walleye. The meat of this bulgy-eyed member of the perch family is tender, white and flaky; and is perfect for grilling or pan-frying.
Fly-Fishing in The Smoky Mountains
Fly-fishing is king in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and so are the trout. Although they’re abundant, they might not always be in the mood to bite. To increase your chances of catching one, some of the local waters have been stocked. Test your fly-fishing skills on your next vacation there.
Fishing in the Florida Keys
Down in the Florida Keys you can charter a boat for a deep sea fishing excursion on the Atlantic Ocean. Your catch of the day just might include mahi mahi, wahoo, snapper, grouper or yellowtail.
If you like your fish food from the great outdoors, dig up some worms. Crickets and minnows work well, too. All three are good choices for beginners because there are no special techniques needed to land the big one. Just put them on your hook and cast out your line. Wait until you feel pressure on your rod and see your bobber go under the water; then yank your pole back.
For man-made entrees the fish can’t resist, consider a spinner, jig, spoon or popper. Spinners use blades that revolve and flutter through the water creating a vibration that attracts fish. These lures work best for murky waters. Jigs are versatile and inexpensive and can be used to catch just about any fish—set them in motion by making your line hop and jump through the water. Spoons are shaped just like their dinner table namesake. These shiny, curved pieces of metal are set above the hook and wobble through the water. When used properly, poppers trick fish into believing there is injured prey nearby. Use quick, jerky motions to draw your line across the water. If they are still not biting, experiment with different colored lures for best results.
Lighten up—your line should be 6-pound test line or lighter. Smaller is better—unless you’re angling for movie-star sharks or whales from the pages of literature, don’t use gigantic hooks. Choose hook sizes in the range of 10 to 12. Keep in mind that hook sizes run backwards, so 12 is smaller than 10.
Before you brag about the one that didn’t get away, you need to make sure you have the proper license and permits. Visit your local sporting goods store for guidelines on catching, handling and releasing fish. The first time you feel a fish tugging at the end of your line you’ll be hooked.